Interim Libyan government say it has secured chemical weapons

Libya’s National Transitional Council recently announced that its forces have found chemical weapons in the country and currently has them secure and under guard.

The NTC’s statement comes days after the nonprofit group Human Rights Watch voiced concerns that weapons stockpiled by former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi might find their way into the hands of dangerous groups, according to

"They are from the Qaddafi era and are under guard, until they can be handed over," an NTC representative said, Reuters reports.

The NTC representative made the statement at a meeting between the NTC and NATO representatives in Qatar.

“Now that the fighting has ended, one of the NTC’s top priorities should be securing weapons facilities, and bringing the unchecked flow of arms in the country under control,” Peter Bouckaert, the emergencies director for HRW, said, reports. “Surface-to-air missiles can take down civilian aircraft, and the explosive weapons can be converted easily into car bombs and IEDs [improvised explosive devices or bombs] that have killed thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The interim government has vowed to deal with stray weaponry. The United States has sent experts along with $40 million in aid to assist the NTC in securing surface-to-air stockpiles that could one day threaten NATO or passenger aircraft.